Date of this Version
2011 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
We recently learned that the Chinese government has deemed the term “civil society” [gongmin shehui 公民社会] too sensitive to use in Chinese news reports. Apparently, even the mention of Chinese citizens voluntarily joining together for a common cause challenges the authority of China’s rulers, especially when that cause is political. Such aversion to autonomous organizations goes back to imperial China, and it was not until the last throes of the Qing dynasty that the first truly political Chinese organization emerged and grew. And that organization had no choice but to be based outside of China.